A competitive budget provides a sponsor with a complete financial picture of the proposed project. Budgets are reviewed by the sponsor to verify if the costs are reasonable and necessary to carry out the proposed project, and if it conforms to the sponsor’s instructions and/or format. The cost elements of a budget must be those necessary to accomplish the proposed activity. Cost estimates of individual line items should be carefully calculated so that the requested funds are adequate, but not excessive.
The cost elements of a budget must be those necessary to accomplish the proposed activity. Cost estimates of individual line items should be carefully calculated so that the requested funds are adequate, but not excessive. As you develop your budget, it is important to keep in mind that sponsored project costs fall into two broad categories those that are direct costs and costs included in the facilities and administrative rate.
You should include details regarding the need for unusual or large expenses such as equipment, special travel or use of facilities in the budget text (budget justification). Also, provide budget notes that identify the role of each person (including staff support) included in the project budget, and that detail the use of all funds requested.
Types of cost categories include:
- Facilities & Administrative Costs – also known as Indirect Costs or Overhead
- Direct Costs – includes info on SubAwards, Cost Sharing and Interdivision Transfers
- Unallowable Costs
Budget Example & Wizard
We have developed a wizard to assist you with preparing your budget. This wizard will also route your proposal, additionally your CO can assist you with the budget if you provide them access to the budget.
Agency (Form) Budget (the budget example is a .pdf file and includes information on how to calculate F&A)
Agency Specific Guidelines
Service Center Rates
View Service Center Rates (pdf)